South Wilts’ finished runners-up to Burridge in the ECB Southern Premier League - a creditable performance by Ben Draper’s young side.

They clinched second place with a three-wicket win at Alton - the result coinciding with season long leaders and defending champions St Cross Symondians being thrashed by Burridge in the winner-take-all title decider.

It meant that South Wilts leapfrogged St Cross, who ended the campaign 12 points behind them, writes Mike Vimpany.

For the second consecutive week Peter Rowe was South Wilts’ match winner, following up his unbeaten 55 against Havant with an undefeated 77 which got the Bemerton side across the line at the Jubilee ground.

Alton were locked in a four-club struggle for Premier Division survival and when they sank to 66-7 (Jude Wright 22) against Matt Burton (3-34) and left-arm spinner Archie Fairfax-Ross (3-33) their prospects did not look good. Three wickets fell for three runs at one point before Mark Heffernan (43 not out) and Tom Andrews (16), complemented by a fruitful last wicket stand of 36 (the highest of the innings), lifted the Brewers to 141 all out.

With their immediate Premier Division future uncertain, Alton fought hard in the second session, removing openers James Degg and Jack Stearman cheaply.

But in true Australian style, Rowe stamped his authority on proceedings, adding important runs with Harry Broderick (25) before the visitors lost two quick wickets to Wright (2-22) and were 69-4.

Rowe continued to accumulate his runs while Fairfax-Ross (27) counter-attacked and eased South Wilts to 117-5. Alton refused to lie down, eventually taking seven wickets before Rowe, with 13 boundaries in his 71 not out, got the visitors across the line.

Alton managed only four bonus points from the defeat but with the bottom club Totton & Eling losing heavily to Lymington, the Brewers survived relegation.